Since it went effective early in 2021, there’s been an open question as to how much traction the industry would see from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in implementing the requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (AMLA 2020). While there haven’t been any drastic changes, FinCEN did take seven key steps towards the eventual implementation of the new AML regime:
- Issued a report on the Innovation Hours Program, a key element of FinCEN’s broader Innovation Initiative designed to promote responsible financial services innovation (Mar 26);
- Issued the first government-wide priorities for AML/CFT policy, following consultation with other relevant Department of the Treasury offices, as well as Federal and State regulators, law enforcement, and national security agencies (Jun 30);
- Submitted a report on FinCEN’s assessment whether to establish a no-action letter process for inquiries concerning the application of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and other AML laws (Jun 30);
- Published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to solicit comment on a range of questions related to the implementation of BSA requirements to the antiquities trade (Sep 23);
- Published an ANPRM to solicit comment on a potential rule to address the vulnerability of the U.S. real estate market to money laundering and other illicit activity (Dec 6);
- Following an ANPRM issued in April, issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to implement the beneficial ownership information reporting provisions (Dec 7); and
- Published a Request for Information (RFI) on how to modernize risk-based AML/CFT regulations and guidance to protect U.S. national security in a more cost-effective and efficient manner (Dec 14).
While it’s a good start, there’s a long way to go. Keep tuned as we follow FinCEN’s activities throughout 2022.